Is There Any Way That I Can Get More Than 6 Months Of Back Pay?

Category: 
Dec 10 2016 - 2:30pm

My husband retired and took early social security at age 62 in Nov of 2006...He was a county prosecutor for Washington County, Utah from 1983-Nov 2006. I closed my small Ballet school business in Jan . 2007 and filled for disability that spring .. I had to hire a disability attorney to get my disability
( diagnosis( cyclothymia/mild bipolar ) ...I was 58 in Dec. of 2006.

When I finally got my disability approved .....I believe it was in the summer of 2007. The miniscule amount that I got (around $650 )I figured was due to the facts that:

(1) I had a very small BALLET SCHOOL business .Only took home $25,000 one year in 23 years of business , Rest of the time much lower ..under $15,000.,
(2) I have resided and worked in southern Utah since 1977..Where wages are some of the lowest in the country
****** (Washington county Utah 's a very depressed area of the country in terms of wages. Under paid
teachers and the State of Utah spends barely $2,500 a year per student in the public schools
and thus is last or 2nd to the last in the nation per student spending. My husband's top salary was
$75,000 a year and he was the highest paid county employee that year. *********

I also asked SS rep when I get to social security age will I get more ????
The Answer .....No ....And it will just flow right into social security at age 66...You will not need to apply or do anything..

I had been following what I would receive on my meager salary versus what I would get as a spouse on my husbands earnings during several years prior to filing for disability ...It was estimated that I would get around $850 month if both of us waited until full retirement age to retire. So hearing that I had lost $200 of my social security benefit because I took my disability benefit at 58 threw me into a bit of a depression ...I figured I had blown it more or less ...NO one told me that by taking disability it would diminish my social security benefit
.....But as I outlined above ... I figured that is what happens when you live in this wage depressed area ..

Then my son sends me an article earlier this year that social security has changed ..I am thinking ...surely my benefit is correct ...but at his request I go into social security to check on it .

The social security person in the SG , Utah office looks it up and says " oh, yes we owe you $245 a month for past 2 1/2 years BUT you are only going to get 6 months !!! What I ask ???? I am told I have to make an appointment to talk to someone about getting these funds released. I make the appointment for a month later the soonest appointment I could get . I am thinking I must call my disability attorney .. why did she tell me I am only going to get 6 months???So I call my disability attorney ...he says go in and write down everything that happens and is said and have the social sec. rep read it and sign it. My husband says ...see if they will let you record the conversation on your phone,

So at the appointment I ask If I can record the conversation by video on my iPhone ...I am told "No, that is against the law and the SS rep stands up and walks away. the shows up with another SS person who confirms this ...YET they are filming me the minute I or anyone else walks in that office....I am a bit angry .
so THE SS REP fills out the application or whatever online for me to get the 6 months that is owed me .
she tells me I have to bring in a CERTIFIED copy of my birth certificate. I ,OF COURSE, WHEN I GET HIOME DONOT HAVE A CERTIFIED COPY OF MY BIRTH CERTIFICATE but I go about trying to get one before the month deadline the rep gives . After a month if the marriage certificate is not received I will have to start all over to apply for or maybe not get the benefit ..So I go home and have 3 copies of my birth certificate .. none are certified ...Contact the Calif County recorder where our marriage certificate is recorded ....AND it will cost me $50 or so to get a copy sent to me ....so she can make a copy for her records .. ???? I am jumping through all sorts of hoops as instructed by them( SS rep). So I go online and read on the social security website that I do not need certified copy but just a copy signed by minister and witness should suffice. So my husband and I go back in and take this uncertified copy in and the same SS rep who told me I had to have a certified copy accepts that marriage certificate and within 4 days I get the 6 months from /Feb 2016 on ) owed me ......

I am still stymied at how to get the 2yrs of $245 a month social security owed me .. so I call my disability attorney again ... He says he has never heard od having tom file for ones spousal benefit .. once you areon disability ..social security has all your information about you ... when I went to social security full retirement age it should have all just flowed right from disability .. NO NEED to file again for anything ...Go see Mike Lee ...our US Senator ..

.I go into US Senator Mike Lee's office and explain situation ..yesterday a lady from his office calls me and I explain again the situation... she is going to call social security and talk to them .She is not very positive on what they will tell her .. she indicates that one many times gets different answers from different people at Social security

So my question to you ..Did the law passed by Congress in 2015 negate my ability to receive the 2 years of spousal benefit ( which is what they term the additional $245 a month /per month owed me ) or can you give me any info on how to proceed to get this benefit ?? Like who at social security can I call or email or perhaps there is an attorney in Utah or Nevada who specializes in social security retirement cases such as this ..

Respectfully,
Gretchen

Hi Gretchen,

I certainly sympathize with you, but it doesn't sound like there is any way that you will be able to get more than the 6 months of back benefits that you've been paid.

In most cases, Social Security requires separate applications for different types of benefits. When you filed for disability benefits, you were not yet old enough to be eligible for spousal benefits. So, even though you later became eligible for an excess spousal benefit on your husband's record, you were required to file an application in order to become entitled to the benefits.

Unfortunately, under the law, Social Security applications for spousal benefits have a maximum retroactivity of 6 months (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.15/handbook-1513.html). So, even though you apparently became eligible for the spousal benefits more than 2 years before you finally applied for them, Social Security can only pay you 6 months of back pay.

This certainly seems unfair, but unfortunately it's in the Social Security law that was passed by Congress.

Best, Jerry